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February 24, 1994

TELECOMMUNICATIONS GIANTS PLAN GLOBAL EUROPEAN NETWORK

By CBR Staff Writer

There are Machiavellian plans afoot between the telecommunications giants of Europe to create a Global European Network of international leased lines out of part of their fibre optic capacity, which involve British Telecommunications Plc, France Telecom, Deutsche Bundespost Telekom, Stet SpA and Telefonica de Espana SpA (CI No 1,967): little has been heard of the project since the original announcement, but now, Reuter reports, the European Commission says it is reviewing the plans because the initiative falls under a European Union regulation prohibiting agreements and concerted practices; there is no clear deadline to approve or order a full inquiry if the Commission is worried about the impact in competition of a planned co-operative joint venture, but it usually tries to give a preliminary response within two months; the agreement would for example enable Bundespost Telekom to gain access to its sub-network in France via France Telecom’s network access system in Paris; the Commission has asked third parties to submit comments on the plans.

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